George H. Kobayashi

Principal, Chicago
Phone: 312.245.7500

George Kobayashi is the Chair of the firm's Intellectual Property and Technology practice group and Vice Chair of the Distribution and Sales practice group.

Mr. Kobayashi maintains a unique practice focusing on the representation of clients in a wide range of cross-border business transactions including joint ventures, strategic alliances and other commercial transactions. Mr. Kobayashi has represented and advised public and privately held companies in various industries, including information technology, fashion, application development, transportation, machine tool, automobile, robotics, food products and health care.

Mr. Kobayashi regularly assists his clients in all aspects of vertical distribution, including franchising; dealership and distributorship programs; sales representative and commercial agency relationships; complex commercial licensing and co-branding arrangements; and direct selling and business opportunity relationships. Mr. Kobayashi has appeared numerous times in front of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and regularly advises clients on trademark, service mark, branding, copyright and other intellectual property related issues.

Mr. Kobayashi also has experience assisting companies internationally, including Japan, Mexico and Brazil, and has developed strong relationships with experienced business and legal advisors around the world to assist his clients' expansion into these markets.

Mr. Kobayashi has conducted numerous seminars, in the U.S. and in Japan (both in English and Japanese), on a broad range of distribution and sales, intellectual property and other legal issues affecting businesses conducting cross-border transactions.

Prior to law school, Mr. Kobayashi worked in Tokyo as a Product Development Manager for 3Com Corporation and its predecessor US Robotics, Inc. While at The John Marshall Law School, he studied comparative law at Temple University Law Program in Tokyo and was a legal intern at the Tokyo office of TMI Associates.

Representative Matters

  • Lead legal counsel to a major Japanese automotive component manufacturer in the negotiation, formation and establishment of complex, multi-tiered dual joint venture entities in Mexico with a large scale global private investment fund.

  • Assisted the world's 10th largest Internet company in the participation of a $27 million round of financing for a Chicago-based global market technology company.

  • Represented a foreign buyer in a multi-million dollar asset purchase of an industrial products division of an established trading company.

  • Lead counsel for the sale of a U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese logistics company.

  • Represented global audio component and accessory manufacturer in their expansion of operations into Brazil.

  • Assisted a large Japanese trading company in connection with the restructuring of global fashion accessory business with a U.S. partner, involving a series of multi-million dollar acquisitions of the assets located in various territories around the world.

  • Represented client in the acquisition of a motorcycle and ATV products company in Utah.

  • Represented Japan-based computer and smart-phone application developer in trademark prosecution and other intellectual property matters.

  • Represented Japan-based household products manufacturer in the negotiation of long-term manufacture and supply agreements.


    • Speaker at State of Illinois Investment Seminar in Tokyo and Osaka, 2010-2016
    • Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Chicago (JCCC)  Intellectual Property Seminar, September 2013
    • Columbia College Fashion Law Seminar, March 2013

Practice Areas


  • Japanese


  • The John Marshall Law School, J.D., 2000
  • Creighton University, B.S.B.A., 1995


  • Illinois

Professional Activities

  • Asian American Bar Association Chicago - Former Board of Director
  • Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chicago - Board of Directors
  • The Japanese American Service Committee Housing Corporation (Heiwa Terrace) - Board of Directors
  • U.S.-Japan Council - Regional Vice-Chair (Midwest Region)


  • Leading Lawyers, 2015-2018